It is that time- time for the vacation wrap-up post. My sun-filled South Pacific extravaganza included Tahiti, Fiji, Tonga, New Caledonia, and Australia. With so gorgeous beaches, delicious dinners, and fun activities, the trip was full of highlights but here are the best:
- Best island: Bora Bora
Bora Bora is one place in the world that lives up to the hype. I have never seen water so clear and turquoise. The underwater life is amazing too. The coral reef that surrounds Bora Bora keeps out most of the scary creatures so snorkeling inside the reef is lush with Manta Rays and colorful fish. We were lucky and even saw some dophins. Outside the reef is good for shark scuba diving. I saw a lemon shark and black-tipped reef sharks. It was awesome!
Staying overnight in an overnight bungalow may be over the top but visiting for a few days by cruise is the perfect way to see Bora Bora without spending a fortune.
- Best island surprise: New Caledonia
I really liked New Caledonia. There were a plethera of beaches in the main city of Noumea to choose from. The culture is a little bit South Pacific islander a little bit French making for an exotic mix of food and architecture.
- Another surprise island: Tonga
A little tropical storm blew through the South Pacific towards the beginning of our trip and caused us some rainy days and the cruise ship to veer off course. The Oceania Marina cruise itinerary was supposed to take us to American Samoa and Samoa the day the tropical storm was due to hit there. Instead we veered south and docked in Tonga. I was perfectly happy with that as I’ve never been to Tonga either.
Unfortunately in Tonga it was a Sunday and absolutely nothing was open. if you ever go to Tonga, don’t plan on doing anything besides finding a beach on Sunday. We took a short tour around Tongatapu for some sights.
- Best Sunset: Intercontinental Hotel Papeete, Tahiti
Best sunset I have ever seen. Period.
- Best Beach: Surfer’s Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia
The waves were fun, the beach was smooth white sand, the sun was hot. An all-around great beach.
- Favorite cruise dinner: Red Ginger, Oceania Marina
This was a big surprise as well. Mom is not a big fan of Asian fusion but I am. Appetizer, entrée, and dessert were amazing. If you ever cruise with Oceania (on their bigger ships), make sure to eat here as much as you can.
- Best City: Sydney, Australia
Sydney one of the most fun cities in the world. The Sydney Opera House is a gem along the water, along with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Bondi Beach, The Rocks, Darling Harbour- are some of Sydney’s best sights. There is so much to see and do.
Cruising the South Pacific was the trip of a lifetime. If it is not already on your bucket list, add it and make sure that you get to Bora Bora and Australia, even better if you can get to New Caledonia and Tonga too!